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N.C. sheriff: Link established between Hilton and elderly couple
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Transylvania County sheriff says investigators have established a positive link between the slaying of a North Carolina hiker, the disappearance of her husband, and the man charged with killing a young hiker in Georgia.

But Sheriff David Mahoney declined Wednesday to discuss the details of the link between Gary Michael Hilton and Irene and Jack Bryant.

Searchers found the body of 84-year-old Irene Bryant on Nov. 9. She and her 80-year-old husband had been missing since Oct. 21, when they left for a hike in the Pisgah National Forest.

Authorities in Georgia have charged the 61-year-old Hilton with murder in the death of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson, whose body was found this month in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area.